Mole Valley decision on Leatherhead travellers' future

A decision on whether travellers should be moved from a site in Surrey or allowed to stay there is being made by Mole Valley councillors.

Members have been recommended to approve plans for the families to stay permanently at River Lane, Leatherhead.

A report said letting families stay was inappropriate for the green belt and would harm the character of the area.

But it said the council needed more pitches for travellers and had not been able to find an alternative site.

Families 'well-liked'

The report said the council had received a large number of responses both for and against the application.

Twenty six letters of support had come from people who wanted the travellers to have a permanent home, keep the children in local schools and keep the "well-liked and respected" families attending local churches.

Letters of objection from 46 people and groups, including the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England, included comments that the council should have found alternative sites, had failed to provide enough traveller pitches and that granting permission would be premature.

The plans are for permanent use of three sites on River Lane as Gypsy and traveller caravan sites including paddocks and the planned construction of a stable block.

Councillors were considering the proposals on Wednesday evening.

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